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As a pastor working through Matthew's gospel, and as one who often refers to the Didache for study and insight, I found this book particularly refreshing. Although I do not agree with everything he says, the core work in this volume is excellent and very handy for anyone who is doing exegesis in either Matthew or the Didache.
The author believes the Didache may be written around 150 A.D. Newer scholarship has proposed that this document was written between 50 and 70 A.D. I think that the newer scholarship is more convincing than Massaux's view here. However, that only adjusts the potential direction of the influence of these two documents. All the other work he lays out, demonstrating contact between Matthew and Didache remains valid. The question now becomes, which document influenced the other. If the Didache is truly older than Matthew, then some ideas would need to be reversed.
The opening segment on the Didache is what I will focus on for this review, although he deals with other links in the first two centuries as well. Massaux shows Matthew 28:18-20 demonstrates contact with Didache's opening statement by using the terms 'Didaskovtes' (Didaxn) and Ethvesiv (Ethvn). He also points out that many believe the Didache is to be used at a baptism and that the first six chapters are to be spoken over a baptismal subject during the baptismal ceremony...and that this then links directly with 'baptizing them in the name of the Father...in Matt 28:18-20. His premise is very interesting and the evidence is clear that Matthew and Didache are closely linked. Which came first is another question to be studied...and may be a debate among scholars...I'm not really sure.Read more ›
This book, one of a series of three, is deceptively named. Although the title focuses on the Gospel of Matthew, Massaux actually discusses each New Testament book and how it was used by the post-New Testament early Christian writers (such as 1 Clement and Ignatius).
Although I have seen lists of supposed allussions to the NT by Apostolic Fathers, Massaux goes into much more detail. He ably and soberly sorts through the possible New Testament allusions and quotes. He organizes his material by devoting a chapter to each Apostolic Father and sections within each chapter to pariticular writings. Then there are subsections devoted to how the particular Apostolic Father's writing uses each New Testament book. There is also a very helpful scripture index at the end, which allows you to research particular verses and how they were used by all of the Apostolic Fathers.
This is not light reading. The translation of the French is pretty good, but not always lucid. And much of the discussion is about the use of particular greek phrases. Even so, laypersons can manage and benefit from the material. Indeed, I have not found anything else that covers this kind of material in this kind of depth.
If you are looking to discover which New Testament books were used by which Apostolic Fathers, this is the best resources I have found.
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This is not one, but a three volume work. Massaux appears to have done a thorough, intense study of the subject, with the result that this book is a gold mine of information.
Take 1 Clement. Many scholars deny it shows any evidence of the author having known any of the synoptics, but of course there are all sorts other scholars who sharply argue the opposite point of view. "Other hypotheses including that the text is not yet fixed, that it reflects the oral tradition" (Vol 1 p 11) or even that, at the time, having your own copy of the Gospel being so unlikely, that any use of citations had to be drawn from a reliance of memory of having the Gospels read aloud at services.
Massaux digs into the most common possibles, He includes Mt 5:7; 6:12-15; 26-28; 14:24; 7:1-2, Lk 6:32; 6:36-39. 22-20, among others.
Massaux finds evidence of Matthew influencing 1 Clement, while there is no evidence of an influence from either John or the Epistle of James (Vol. 1 pp 36-47).
As for Paul "Clement of Rome informs us himself that he knows at least one of the letter of St Paul when he says 'Take up the epistle...of blessed Paul...What did he first write to you'" (Vol 1 p 40). Although Clement "states ideas similar to those of Paul...it cannot be asserted that he shows a true literary dependence" (Vol 1 p50).
The Letters of St Ignatius of Antioch reveal that he knew Matthew as well as many of the Pauline epistles. As for Polycarp, his works do cite Matthew, and cite him almost exactly, and the Pauline epistles, but "no passage of the letter of Polycarp bears a trace of a definite literary dependence on the Gospel of Mk. or Lk." (Vol 2 p 34).Read more ›
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